Ever since Television station WNBT broadcast a Bulova Watch commercial before a Brooklyn Dodgers versus Philadelphia Phillies game on July 1st, 1941, companies have been touting their goods and services through video with stories, spokespeople and infomercials.
Of course the price went from $9 to broadcast that first commercial to millions of dollars to produce and distribute a message on network TV. For decades the cost kept smaller companies from getting their word out via video, until now. Thanks to the Internet, YouTube, and the reduced cost of equipment and technology, any company can now afford to create and broadcast videos to a broad audience.
Still, many are learning that just because you can shoot some video on your iPhone, edit it in iMovie and post it to the web, doesn't mean people will flock to your business in droves. Below are some common misconceptions I hear all the time about video marketing, along with the truth that will help you be successful. I even included some good video examples in the hyperlinks so check them out.
Myth No. 1 - The best business videos are under three minutes.
There are some research findings that two minutes and 53 seconds is the average time that a viewer will watch a video before clicking away. Many marketers believe this means two minutes and 53 seconds must be the limit of the viewer's attention span. Since it's highly unlikely that all people have the same limit, I believe this number actually represents the average length of time most video makers are able to keep a viewer's interest. There is no perfect length of a marketing video. If the video is dull and lacks creativity or relevance it will seem long and boring at 30 seconds. Successful video marketing programs have videos ranging from three to 30 minutes or longer depending upon the topic and interest. For a successful marketing video you should entertain your prospect and keep them interested until the very end regardless of the duration. Use humor, beauty, and emotion to engage them. Just don't be boring.
Myth No. 2 - Video marketing is just for lead generation.
Video is a powerful tool that can educate a prospect or customer quickly, effectively and efficiently. Lead generation is just one purpose for this tool and not even the most effective. Video can help remove confusion about your product or add credibility to your company. It can connect emotionally with existing customers to create brand loyalty. You can even use a custom video just to help close a single customer. To only focus on lead generation with your video program is to miss opportunity. If you take the time to document the detailed actions in your sales process, you can identify many opportunities to use video to save you time and money and maybe generate some leads as well. Here is a tool for figuring out how your sales process works.
Myth No. 3 - Companies should spend thousands on a high-quality professional video.
There is no direct correlation to the cost of a video and its effectiveness. You can spend a ton of dough to make a highly professional video that has no emotional impact and therefore is useless. It's all about the content. Other than basic sound or lighting, if people are complaining about the production quality of your video it's because they didn't care about the message you were trying to convey. Focus on creating a compelling story and using powerful imagery to make a connection with the viewer. This can be done well with simple production values as long as you carefully discern what you put on the small screen.
Myth No. 4 - Putting a video on a website will improve search engine results.
This was maybe true a few years ago at the beginning of the YouTube revolution but today videos are ubiquitous. If most of your competitors already have videos on their sites, posting a video on yours will not give you any competitive advantage in the rankings. If you want to use video effectively, learn how to make effective videos. Build a long-term diverse video campaign and create a YouTube channel that is interesting and relevant to your customer community.
Myth No. 5 - Viral video is a viable marketing strategy.
Not only is going viral not easy, it may not even be desirable. Big companies spend tons of money today trying to get videos to go viral and most often they fail miserably. Going viral is still very much of a crap-shoot even if you spend money to promote your video. Even if a video goes viral, you may gain some awareness for your company but that doesn't mean the right people will see it. Most viral videos are viral due to inappropriate content and shock value. Unless you can appropriately tie that shock aspect to the value proposition of your company a viral video will not help and it may even hurt your image. Still if you want to increase your chances of people spreading your video to achieve thousands of hits, using humor will give it the highest probability.
Like any effective marketing tool, video does not stand on its own. It should be an integrated part of your overall sales and marketing program. A great video marketing program will take committed time and resources to drive customers to your door and produce consistent results. It may not be easy but it's well worth the effort and there are great resources out there today to get you started.